Avast revealed about 204 fleeceware apps that generated more than 400M revenue from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Users in billions have downloaded these apps, but they increase targeting children via different social media platforms.
The Fleeceware apps offer the users first to use the free trial version before switching to a premium version. The subscription plans are pretty expensive and can reach $3400 or more per annum. Even these apps charged the users when they deleted the app. Avast found that such apps first offer free-trial and convert to high subscription charges without the users’ consent.
71% of the detected fleeceware apps are present on the App Store because the iOS users have to for their services, the survey revealed. Apple takes strict actions against the developers who charge the users hefty amounts. But despite charging a high subscription price, they failed to provide quality service to the users. As a result, the Apple company decided to block all such apps from the App store. These apps made more than 400M profit by scamming the users, and still, there are 134 scamming apps on the App Store with 500M plus downloads.
As compared to iOS, Google Play has fewer scam apps. The researchers revealed around 70 apps that made more than $38.5M with more than 500 million downloads.
Before this, Apple has been involved in other scams as well. In February, a developer exposed various scams on the Apple Store that result in millions of dollars in revenue. The same developer is now accusing Apple of not controlling the App Store.
In this age of changing security landscape, hackers and scammers have become quite advanced than before. To prevent any unwanted situation, users should be aware of any such fleeceware apps that provide free trials for the first few days and then charge a considerable amount. Avast also recommends that users to remain cautious of the viral ads for apps, secure their payments with a biometric check or strong password (password managers), and read the prints while installing any new app.